John Birrell: 



Twitter: @johnbirrell600


Academic Qualifications:

  • MA University of St Andrews 1968
  • LlB  University of Edinburgh 1970
  • BD  University of Edinburgh 1973



  • Member: International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement
  • Member: COSCA – the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland
  • Member: Association for the Study of Death and Society
  • Associate Member: Association of Death Education and Counselling



  • Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath
  • Owner, JohnBirrell Consultancy: research, training and consultancy on various aspects of death, dying and bereavement

Areas of special interest:

  • Grief
  • Bereavement Support and Counselling
  • Funeral Poverty



Birrell, J (ed) (2011) Shaping Bereavement Care: a framework for action.  Scottish Government Health Directorate.     

Birrell, J (2011) Finding a new shape for Bereavement Care. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy,  14(1) 2-8

Newsom, C., Wilson, S., Birrell, J., Stroebe, M., & Schut, H. (2011) Practitioners and researchers working together in an intervention study – a fine example of synergy.  Bereavement Care 30(1)

Stephen, A., MacDuff, C., Petrie, D., Tseng, F,. Schut, H., Skår S., Corden, A., Birrell, J., Wang S., Newsom C. and Wilson, S. (2013)  The Economic Cost of Bereavement in Scotland  Death Studies Volume 39, 2015 - Issue 3

Newsom, C., Schut, H., Stroebe, M. S., Wilson, S., & Birrell, J. (2016). Initial Validation of a Comprehensive Assessment Instrument for Bereavement-Related Grief Symptoms and Risk of Complications: The Indicator of Bereavement Adaptation—Cruse Scotland (IBACS). PLOS ONE, 11(10), e0164005.

Newsom, C., Schut, H., Stroebe, M., Birrell, J., & Wilson, S. (2016). Telephone versus in-person intake assessment for bereavement intervention: Does efficiency come at a cost? Death studies, 40(2), 71-79

Birrell, J. & Sutherland, F. (2016) Funeral Poverty in Scoltand – a review for Scottish Government.  Citizens Advice Scotland

Newsom, C., Schut, H., Stroebe, M.,Wilson, S., Birrell, J.,  Moerbeek, M., Eisma, M. (2017). Effectiveness of bereavement counselling through a community-based organisation: A naturalistic, controlled trial. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.  Clinical psychology & psychotherapy. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.2113

Newsom, C., Stroebe, M.S., Schut, H., Wilson, S., Birrell, J. Moerbeek, M., Eisma, M.C. (2017). Community-based counselling reaches and helps bereaved people living in low-income households. Psychotherapy Research. Psychotherapy research, 1-13. DOI: 10.1080/10503307.2017.1377359



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